Since Eric and I live too far from our families to visit them for Thanksgiving, we’ve started a tradition of taking a little holiday getaway. So far, they’ve been pretty spectacular. Last year, we visited Joseph, Oregon and the Wallowa Mountains. Two years ago, we camped in the Redwoods of Northern California.
This year, we chased the snow north to Leavenworth, Washington.
I had visited Leavenworth briefly when I worked as a camp counselor near Seattle after my freshman year of college. Unfortunately, all I remembered about the town was the candy shop where the group of middle school campers spent all of their money on candy, resulting in a super fun sugar high for us counselors to manage. Somehow, this overshadowed the amazing mountains and rivers of the Central Cascades.
Needless to say, when we saw the mountains on this trip, I was shocked I couldn’t remember this place. It is AMAZING.
We kicked off our trip with a 5K race on Thanksgiving morning. It was adorable and charming (and we got to run through the snow, as you can see in the photo above).
What’s wonderful about Leavenworth? Everyone is SO NICE. (I’m looking at you, grumpy town Portland.) I’m pretty sure I spoke with more strangers in 5 days in Leavenworth than I have in 1.5 years in Portland. Thanks for smiling at us, people of Leavenworth.
What else is marvelous about Leavenworth? The Christmas decorations. It is a Bavarian village, which means it kind of looks like Christmas all the time. But I’ve never seen such thorough work with Christmas lights. Well done, Leavenworth. All day, every day, there were a bunch of kids sledding down a tiny hill next to the town gazebo. It turned into a pretty hilarious display of kids crashing. This poor kid completely faceplanted, and all of the adults watching just burst out laughing. Sorry, kid.
Since Leavenworth is mostly a tourist town, it also had some pretty tasty food. We ate breakfast every morning at Argonaut, a tiny little espresso stand with the best views in town. (They have blankets on all the chairs outside, which helped when we ate breakfast in 10-degree weather.) I know everything tastes better when you are on vacation, but I declare the Americano at Argonaut the best Americano I’ve ever had. The biscuit sandwiches with sriracha maple sauce didn’t hurt; nor did the homemade pop-tarts. Seriously, guys. Other excellent eating experiences included wood-fired pizza at Idlewild and burrito bowls at South. So, so good.
We stayed in an Airbnb tiny house, partly because this was a mini-vacation on a budget, and partly because I’ve always wondered if we would be capable of living in a tiny house. The verdict: we couldn’t live in one, but it was cute for 4 nights, despite the fact that our feet were in the shower when we used the toilet. (For more photos of the tiny house, check out the Airbnb posting.)
Our main goal in visiting Leavenworth was to do a lot of hiking in the mountains, since the town is a launching point for some of the great trails in this portion of the Cascades. I’ll share those adventures soon, as it’s a bit of a photo overload. Get excited!